Zuma: Opposition copied ANC manifesto

The president says opposition parties are obsessed with the negative.

President Jacob Zuma arrives at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane for a Workers Day rally on 1 May flanked by Sidumo Dlamini and Blade Nzimande. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma has accused opposition parties of copying the party's manifesto, saying they're obsessed with the negative.

Zuma addressed thousands of people at a Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) Workers Day rally in Polokwane yesterday.

He spoke extensively about the history of May Day while also highlighting government's successes over the past 20 years.

Zuma told the crowd to vote for the ANC because the party will introduce a national minimum wage and address income disparities.

He said those who attack the ruling party are only making meaningless noise.

"They all commented on the ANC manifesto instead of producing their own and of course in the process, copied a lot of what is in the manifesto. The voters of this country are very mature; they know who to vote for and why."

Zuma also appeared to take a swipe at Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi without mentioning him by name, saying the union should cut ties with those who want to destabilise it.

"Only a strong and united Cosatu can unite workers and close ranks for any tendency which seeks to divide workers and encourage action in contempt of democratic institutions."

Vavi was placed on special leave last year for having an extramarital affair with a younger employee at work.

In March, the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg ruled Vavi's suspension was illegal and unlawful.

On his return to Cosatu House, he said divisions within the federation were caused by rival factions fighting for control of assets.